Yesterday was our 30th anniversary! As I told the men on The Generous Husband, it’s been a great 28 years. I’m not saying the first two were horrible, but they were far less wonderful than those which followed.
Here are some things I wish Lori had known 30 years ago. Most of these apply to most marriages.
- He’s willing to die for you, and he’ll become willing to live for you. (Dying is easy; living involved a great deal of sacrifice.)
- He feels protective of you because God made him to feel that way. Accept it, and openly appreciate it. (If you resist his desire to protect you, it will change him in ways you don’t want.)
- He will choose you over his mother, but it will take him awhile to see he needs to do so. Help him by being honest when she hurts you, but avoid attacking her. (If he knows she’s hurting you, his desire to protect you will kick in. If you attack, he will feel he must defend her.)
- He doesn’t think and feel the same way women think and feel. Sometimes he will have no idea what you are thinking or why you feel the way, you do. (If he withdraws, it is probably out of frustration.)
- He will put up a brave front, but you can and will hurt his feelings. Apologies mean a lot, even when he responds with “No big deal.” (Men often fear admitting they are hurt because with other men saying such things can and will be used against them.)
- Sex means far more to him than you think or he knows. It makes him feel loved and accepted in ways nothing else can. (He is vulnerable sexually because you are his only source and you can say no any time for any reason. This means sex is a matter of acceptance or rejection.)
- Sex is not the only thing he thinks about, but it’s always just under the surface. (God made him this way, and at times, it bothers him a great deal.)
- Yes, he really wants that much sex. (A young man could have sex ten times a week for years, and most men under 40 could manage daily with no problem.)
- If you say no often enough, he will start handling it himself. (Many men do this so they ask for sex less, either to avoid annoying their wife, or because they are tired of being told no.)
- Your sexual pleasure is extremely important to him. Be more than a bit selfish in bed, it will bless him. (It is difficult to feel good about sex if you think it is just for you all the time. Feeling selfish about sex may mean he asks less, but it will not help your sex life or marriage in any way.)
- Disappointing you or having you think badly of him are among his worst fears. (You can use this to manipulate him, even without meaning to do so. However, if he feels you are using this against him, he may stop caring.)
- Men challenge ideas to see if they will survive. (Don’t take a challenge as him saying you’re wrong. Tell him what you think and why, and let him go over it in his mind.)
- Men respond to being pushed by pushing back. The more you push, the more he resists. (A light touch is usually better.)
- If he gets so angry he’s afraid of saying or doing something that will hurt you, he will withdraw. This is part of protecting you. (Chasing him down is a very bad plan. If he thinks he needs time to cool down, let him have it.)
- If he asks you a question, he wants an honest answer. (“I don’t know”, “I don’t care”, and “Whatever you want” upset him. Say them often enough and he will stop caring what you want or think.)
~ Paul – I’m XY and I love my wife more every year!